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Judge Tosses Lawsuit Against Marvel, Stan Lee by Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn
Review by Charles Mohapel
Reuters News  ISBN/ITEM#: CM100406MARVEL
Date: 06 April 2010

Links: Reuters Article /

After nearly 10 years of litigation in various state and federal courts in New York, California, and Colorado, U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty has dismissed the Abadin et al v. Marvel Entertainment Inc et al lawsuit. His 14-page opinion had no standing to sue since they purchased their shares more than a year after the alleged illegal conduct and that by waiting 10 years to file their lawsuit in January 2009, they had waited too long to file suit.

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The $750 million lawsuit filed on behalf of Stan Lee Media Inc alleged that shareholders were harmed when Lee in 1998 transferred rights to the characters to Marvel, which is now owned by Walt Disney Co. Stan Lee Media filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001.

In a March 31 ruling, U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty noted that litigation over the characters had lasted nearly a decade in various state and federal courts in New York, California, and Colorado, and included a securities class-action settlement.

"It is now time to call a halt", Crotty wrote in his 14-page opinion.

The judge concluded that the shareholders, Jose Abadin and Christopher Belland, lacked standing to sue because they did not acquire their Stan Lee Media shares until 1999, more than a year after the alleged illegal conduct.

Crotty also said the shareholders waited too long by not filing their latest lawsuit until January 2009, saying they "cannot wait a decade to enforce their rights."

A lawyer for the plaintiffs did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Monday.

Disney acquired Marvel on December 31 for about $4.2 billion in cash and stock.

The case is Abadin et al v. Marvel Entertainment Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 09-00715.

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